Hanson: Spot Plays for Sept. 16 card at Kentucky Downs

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September 14th, 2020

The sixth and final Kentucky Downs race card of 2020 is scheduled for Wednesday, and the course should be dried out significantly following a wet weekend. With a Grade 3 feature and four Claiming Crown preps on tap, it should be a good one. Here a couple horses of interest.

Race 1

#3 IN EFFECT (9-2) might not get the play that some of the other second-time starters in the field will, but that suits us fine. He exits a fourth-place finish at Indiana Grand in which he was bumped at the start and then was caught behind a ridiculously pedestrian pace, especially in the second and third quarters. From the family of Horses of the Year Saint Liam and Gun Runner, plus United Nations (G1) upsetter Funtastic, this Calumet homebred has plenty of room for improvement.

Race 9 -- Franklin-Simpson Stakes (G3)

#9 EMBOLDEN (10-1) was a capable turf  sprinter last year as a juvenile, placing behind the likes of Four Wheel Drive and Jack and Noah in open stakes in New York. Making his belated sophomore debut in July, the Mike Stidham trainee finished second in a Virginia restricted stakes and then fourth over very soft Saratoga turf in the Saranac (G3), both of which were over a mile. He figures to be a lot more effective cutting back to this 6 1/2-furlong trip and could pull off a minor surprise in the third start of his form cycle.